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Valentine’s day cupcakes: Red velvet with a sweet coconut frosting

February 13, 2016

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Ever since the hype around red velvet cakes came up (a looong time ago), I had been intrigued to try them out. The fact that every recipe used huge amounts of food coloring made the whole thing a little less appealing to me though. Nevertheless, I gave one of the chocolate versions a first try a couple of years ago – and was super disappointed. I had expected a sophisticated, velvet-y taste, but all that recipe I tried resulted in was a kind of bland chocolate cake in a slightly red-brownish shade.

As I always try to use mostly natural ingredients, I did not further pursue in that direction of red velvet cakes. Instead, when I had a beet lying around last week, I decided to give natural food coloring a shot. The first round of cupcakes turned out to be a little bit too juicy, but after some adaptions, the second batch were very nice – bright red, oh so velvet-y cake consistency and tasting satisfyingly good. For this recipe I tried some rather unusual flavor combination: passion fruits, which compliment the earthy tastes of the beet perfectly with their slightly tangy and floral taste. Also, as these are supposed to be a Valentine’s treat, passion is hopefully not misplaced for this occasion 🙂

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If you are happy to have someone to give a present to on Valentine’s Day, these cupcakes are a nice option. Or just make them for yourself, your flatmates, your friends … and enjoy them along with your favorite hot beverage. My current favorite (and recommendation) is matcha latte made with almond rice drink, which fits perfectly to these fruity, yummy cupcakes 🙂

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Red velvet passion fruit & beet cupcakes with coconut frosting
makes 12 cupcakes
Ingredients for the cupcakes:
125 g granulated sugar
125 g vegan butter
180 g red beet, cooked
80 g apple
2 small or 1 large passion fruit
220 g all-purpose flour
2 tsps. baking powder
120 mL passion fruit juice
  • Bring vegan butter to room temperature and preheat the oven to 165 degrees C/330 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.
  • Puree red beet and apple. Add passion fruit and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whip vegan butter and sugar until creamy. Add all the other ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Divide batter between the paper liners and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
Ingredients for the frosting:
125 mL coconut rice milk
20 g starch
40 g granulated sugar
150 g vegan butter
50 g coconut oil
35 g powdered sugar
optional: shredded coconut, some more powdered sugar and a few drops of red beet juice
  • Combine starch, granulated sugar and 3-4 tbsps. or the coconut rice milk in a small bowl, mix with a spoon until smoothly combined.
  • Heat the remaining coconut rice milk in a saucepan until steaming hot (but not boiling!).
  • Stir in the starch-sugar mixture with a whisk, make sure to whisk continuously while adding the mix (otherwise it might stick to the bottom of the saucepan and burn).
  • Continue heating the mix in the saucepan, stirring until it thickens and becomes what we call a “pudding” here in Germany. Remove from the heat, set aside and let cool completely.
  • In the meantime, bring vegan butter and coconut oil to room temperature. The coconut oil should not become liquid! (If so, put into the redfridgerator until soft, but solid.)
  • (If desired, you could also prepare your pink coconut shreds for decoration now:
    combine 2-3 tbsps of coconut shreds with 2-3 tsps. of powdered sugar and a few drops of red beet juice. Mix and add more of the juice depending on the color you want your decoration to have.)
  • When the “pudding” has cooled completely, put vegan butter and coconut oil into a medium-sized bowl and whip with a handmixer on high speed until all smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and whip again until combined.
  • Next, add the coconut “pudding” one spoon at a time – add one spoon, mix until combined and only then add the next spoonful.
  • You might not need to add all of the pudding, depending on how strong you want the coconut flavor to be – just try and decide for yourself.
  • When the frosting is ready, pipe or spread it on top of your cooled cupcakes and decorate with some coconut shreds, if desired.

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